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23 January, 2017

Fight #AlternateFacts with #VisualJournalism

A chart produced with an iPhone in about three minutes.

Visual journalism is a powerful weapon to combat the rise of #Alternatefacts and the good news is that journalists don't need a special graphics team or expensive laptop to produce them from the field during breaking news events.

Reporters: It is time to reporting stories more visually.
Too many stories tried to refute the #alternatefacts presented by The White House merely using the text of numbers.
The Washington Post story comparing subway ridership for recent inaugurations in DC. And a separate story that lists numbers from the Women's March protest.

The White House has installed two video displays to either side of the briefing podium in order to post visuals they hope will persuade their audiences inside and outside of the briefing room.

Readers can't easily visualize the patterns these numbers represent when reported only in text.

Important data needs to engage the right side (Literally the right side . . .) of the brain.

The visual side.

Number stories need a chart.

Any reporter can do this by using an app on their smartphone to SHOW their audience what the numbers mean in their reporting.

For example when they gather and confirm independent ridership data of how many subway rides happened on which day, those numbers can be quickly charted.

I maintain a handy list of apps for reporters to use for visual journalism and the Viz app is a simple way to show your followers the numbers that the White House presented did not match subway ridership numbers. 

You can do this in about three minutes and have a visual for any platform.
Enter the data

Format to bar chart (The correct graphics form for this kind of data set). 

Export and save to camera roll

Ready to share.